New law alters how South Dakota landlords handle support animals

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - New South Dakota legislation will allow landlords to evict or fine tenants who fake a disability or provide false documentation to keep a pet in their rental unit.

The Argus Leader reports that Gov. Dennis Daugaard signed into law this month a bill intended to prevent tenants from lying about medical conditions and claiming they have an emotional support animal. The law takes effect July 1.

Charisma Property Management President Amy Miller says that ambiguity in current law allows tenants to keep miniature horses, snakes and chickens as support animals. She wants to ensure residents aren't taking advantage of landlords.

The new law says landlords can request tenants whose disability or health condition isn't "readily apparent" to provide a doctor's note affirming their need for the service or emotional support animal.